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Sunday March 4, 2012No. 10 Men's Tennis Comes Up Short Against No. 6 Georgia, 4-3

Gainesville, Fla.

The 10th-ranked Florida men’s tennis team came up just short against No. 6 Georgia, losing 4-3, at Linder Stadium on Sunday afternoon. After falling behind 3-0 in the match, the Gators rallied with wins at No. 2, 3 and 6 singles before the Bulldogs closed it out with a three set win at No. 1 singles.

 

“Congratulations to Georgia on winning a very hard-fought, close match,” said Florida head coach Andy Jackson. “I’m very proud of my team for the way that we competed. Like I told [the team], and something that I know is true, everybody contributed to us losing, including Georgia, but the biggest share of the fault goes to me. That one is on me.”

 

Florida (8-4, 1-1 SEC) fell behind early by losing the doubles point, and then Georgia (11-1, 2-0) used wins at No. 4 and No. 5 singles to build a 3-0 lead. The Gators got on the board with a win from Tripper Carleton (Naples, Fla.) over No. 11 Sadio Doumbia, 6-4, 6-4 at No. 2 singles.

 

Nassim Slilam (Paris, France) then closed out his match in straight sets against 35th-ranked KU Singh, 7-6 (2), 6-2, to pull Florida within a point. Fighting through some tightness, Michael Alford (Tampa, Fla.) finished off UGA’s Nathan Pasha at No. 6 singles, 6-4, 7-5, marking his 12th-consecutive victory and seventh-straight dual win.

 

With the match tied at 3-3, all eyes were on the court one matchup between Florida’s Bob van Overbeek (Boca Raton, Fla.) and Georgia’s Wil Spencer, the No. 3 ranked player in the country. The two players exchanged breaks early in the first set, but then held serve and went to a tiebreaker, which van Overbeek won to claim the first set, 7-6 (4). Spencer turned it on the second set, blanking van Overbeek and breaking serve three times.

 

In the deciding third set, van Overbeek earned two early breaks and jumped out to a 5-1 lead, but Spencer was not done yet. Spencer rallied and won six straight games, including three breaks of serve, to clinch the win for himself and the Bulldogs.

 

“I’m very proud of van Overbeek. He competed extremely well, got a little bit tight, but he also got some bad instructions from [me] at the critical moments that were my fault,” said Coach Jackson.

 

“Wil Spencer is really good at redirecting pace. There were wild momentum swings in the match because both kids wanted to win so much. When Bob got ahead in the third, it was my job to remind him not to overplay and give Wil pace, and I didn’t do my job and Wil did his job very well. That’s why [Spencer] is one of the best.”

 

Georgia secured the doubles point with wins at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles, while the UF duo of Billy Federhofer (North Miami, Fla.) and Slilam beat Hernus Pieters and Ignacio Taboada, 8-6, on court one.

 

The Gators return to action next weekend with their first SEC road trip of the season, playing at Vanderbilt on Friday at 4:30 p.m. and at Kentucky on Sunday at 1 p.m.

 

2012 University of Florida Men’s Tennis

Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex

Gainesville, Florida

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Doubles

FLORIDA

vs

Georgia

Winner

 

Score (match length)

Billy Federhofer (8)

Hernus Pieters

No. 1 -

Nassim Slilam (8)

 

Ignacio Taboada

UF

 

8-6 (:58)

Tripper Carleton (18)

Sadio Doumbia

No. 2 -

Spencer Newman (18)

 

Nathan Pasha

UGA*

 

8-4 (:52)

Andrew Butz (43)

KU Singh

No. 3 -

Bob van Overbeek (43)

 

Wil Spencer

UGA

 

8-4 (:46)

Singles

FLORIDA

vs

Georgia

Winner

 

Score (match length)

No. 1 -

Bob van Overbeek (51)

 

Wil Spencer (3)

UGA*

 

6-7 (4), 6-0, 7-5 (2:28)

No. 2 -

Tripper Carleton

 

Sadio Doumbia (11)

UF

 

6-4, 6-4 (1:27)

No. 3 -

Nassim Slilam

 

KU Singh (35)

UF

 

7-6 (2), 6-2 (1:35)

No. 4 -

Florent Diep

 

Ignacio Taboada (43)

UGA

 

6-4, 6-3 (1:16)

No. 5 -

Spencer Newman (70)

 

Hernus Pieters (47)

UGA

 

6-1, 6-4 (1: 18)

No. 6 -

Michael Alford

 

Nathan Pasha

UF

 

6-4, 7-5 (1:52)

FINAL SCORE:

Florida - 3

Georgia - 4

* Clinched victory

Records:

Florida (8-3)

Georgia (10-1)

Order of Finish:

Doubles: 3, 2, 1

Singles: 4, 5, 2, 3, 6, 1

Attendance:

316

 

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